Anger as chemist introduces cheap alcohol

CHEAP booze has gone on sale in a Spalding town centre shop to customers buying their toothpaste and toilet rolls.

Just days after police were inundated with calls about alcohol-driven rowdiness, health and beauty store Savers has made room among the shampoos and household goods for wine at £3.99 a bottle and cut-price beer.

Incidents of alcohol abuse prompted by the recent heatwave attracted a number of comments from Spalding Guardian readers, including a challenge to the paper to run a poll calling for a total ban of alcohol in the town. But now there are concerns another shop selling cheap booze will just fuel the problem.

Robert Watson (72), of The Avenue in Market Deeping, is a regular shopper at Savers with his wife, Marion.

He said: “We come into town three times a week to shop and we are shocked Savers has started selling alcohol.

“It’s really not right they should be allowed to do it. We don’t want to come here to see people drinking alcohol and being sick in the street.”

The first sign Savers was applying for an alcohol licence was a small notice in its Hall Place window a few weeks ago.

A spokesman for Savers said: “I don’t think we would be interested in making a comment.”

Designated Public Place Orders have gone a long way in giving Spalding police powers to control alcohol drinking in the town centre. However, Sgt Stuart Brotherton said a change in the law stopped them objecting to an application for an alcohol licence just because it could lead to problems.

He said: “We can only give evidence-backed objections to applications, such as if the applicant had acted irresponsibly in the past.”

Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce has flagged up concerns to South Holland District Council about the number of alcohol license applications and called for conditions to be imposed.

Chamber president Phil Scarlett said: “Drinking in the streets makes potential customers feel uneasy and that can affect trade.”